I come to UG on this friday afternoon sitting in my college's computer lab to ask for help. Help on a subject I'm sure 90% of UG has gone through, and no, its not puberty.

How to get past musical burnout.

My problem started late july, I moved to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, in the USA of course, to study Electronic Engineering. Prior to my move, I played regulary but now in the middle of September I've played about 4 times alone and 3 times in a band, thats a total of 7 sessions of guitar playing in almost a 2 month period. I feel I can achieve no more.

I believe most of my problems stem from my early practice habits, I believed to get better I had to learn songs from different artists, I never made up my own stuff or anything. I was a cover artist and I couldn't even play the solos!! I've been playing for 3 and a half years and really have nothing to show for it. I go to jams and just stand there and maybe throw out a few powerchords and thats it.

Now don't get me wrong, I love the guitar and playing, I'm just not satisifed, threfore I don't want to play. I even bought a new guitar to maybe revitalize my playing, which it didn't. I feel like I'm trapped in a hole I can't get out of and now being in band I feel like I have nothing to offer.

I beg of you UG help me with my problem so I can once again enjoy my playing.

If its any help, I play metal....I also don't have any money for private lessons, I wish I did
i play drums and guitar :
give metal a break, try and learn some police or Dire straits, it will make you feel good about your playing.
Wow, I'm completely in the same boat as you (except for the metal bit and the lack of money for lessons bit).

Try not to be so tight about what and how you play - just let what comes out of you, come out, if you see what I mean. In the past few days I've got a satisfying tone that's almost addictive to use, and I feel like I'm making some of my best music. Try listening to bands you don't usually listen to. For me, I recieved the Libertines self titled album on Monday, and loving it for it's lyrical genius and all round tunes. Already, I feel it's made an impact on my guitar playing.
i'm almost at the exact same stage. 3.5 yrs of playing, and can only play riffs, can't improv, can't play difficult solos.

you didn't mention what your goals are - do you want to improv? are you frustrated cos you can't play hard solos? what you should do from here depends on what your goals are. in my case, i had to get past my laziness and decide once and for all that i'm going to play hard solos, even if it means i have to totally revamp my technique from scratch or practice a one bar phrase many hours at a really slow tempo.
theres an article on this on the front page
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i read the article before righting this btw lol but thanx for the tips. I should of mentioned that metal is just generally what I play but I do stray into other genres. And to the other dude, I'm frustrated about everything, I wanna play difficult solos and I wanna improv
i play drums and guitar :
im too lazy to look at the other thread. i have been playing for a little more than 7 years. i get to that point now and then. but just try to learn some new stuff and (like prev ppl have said) try to learn things you never listen too or tried to learn.

i just sit down and REALLY try to learn some really hard songs and try to progress. i hope you the best

/ \

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How about actually doing something rather than asking everyone here questions?
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i read the article before righting this btw lol but thanx for the tips. I should of mentioned that metal is just generally what I play but I do stray into other genres. And to the other dude, I'm frustrated about everything, I wanna play difficult solos and I wanna improv

About a year and a half ago I quit lessons. I was not getting out of it what I wanted, I thought I could teach myself. But I was lost for a long time about where I wanted to go with guitar, until I started to analyze the situation.

This may not work for you, I'm still in the process of evaluating if it works for me. I've been trying out a lot of different things but these things have given me the best results, and I add and subtract stuff from my practicing all the time. I've made more gains the past 3 months than I did the past year and a half with a teacher.

1. I was at the point where I was just overwhelmed at all the information and possibilities, so I decided to narrow it down. There are a ton of websites, books and videos. People are always offering suggestions on here and posting youtube videos. I decided that I would narrow down sources of information to John Petrucci's Rock Discipline, Jamie Andreas's The principles of correct Practice for guitar, and this site. I will probably add more videos later, but I read somewhere that Trivium's Matt Heafy taught himself by memorizing and perfecting Rock Discipline, in fact he still practices by running through all the lessons with a metronome to this day.

2. I also read a few lessons on this site about theory. I wrote one myself about basic theory, it's on a different site but it's in my blogs somewhere. I use Fretboard Warrior regularly to try to memorize the fretboard. Right now I know a decent amount of theory, probably not as much as I should but I work on it as much as I can.

3. I practice about 2 hours a day, I spend about 25 percent of my time doing technique exercises and running through scales. I take my exercises and scale fragments out of Rock Discipline. I want to eventually get to a point where I can play everything at the same tempo Petrucci plays it at, this could take a long time, but in the end I will have great technique. Someday I'll add another video, probably Speed Kills, maybe Speed Mechanics or another Petrucci book. I concentrate on learning the scales that most metal solos are based on - minor penatonic, and harmonic minor mainly. To help with improv, you should really come up with your own chord progressions and try to solo around them - I don't do this but I should.

4. The other 75 percent of my time is spent practicing covers. I work on about 4 or 5 covers at a time. I choose difficult but not impossible songs with fast solos. I have only perfected one song so far, the rest I can only play perfectly at 75% tempo. I use Guitar Pro to help me learn the fast solos.

5. I want to eventually record myself playing - but so far I haven't learned anything well enough to make me think that I should record it. I have all the mics and software necessary to record myself, I just have not done this yet. I have some songs almost at the stage where I can play them perfectly, maybe I will start recording soon.

One thing I've learned that will help you learn hard solos at a faster rate is to isolate the really difficult parts of the song, slow them down, and play them every day, like they are exercises, then increase speed as you go along. I find with most songs, that 90 percent of the song is easy to play, but there are some really fast bits in the solo that prevent you from learning a song totally. Focus on these parts until you can play them relatively well then connect the little bits of the song. Also - it is better to spend about 10 minutes a day working on an individual song or an exercise, then move on and work on something else. I think this is a lot more productive than spending 2 hours on one song or exercise - after a certain point you can't force yourself to learn any faster, you just have to really concentrate when you are practicing and be dedicated to regular practicing. Also, limiting yourself to practicing one thing for only 10-15 minutes helps mix things up and will keep you from burning out.

In breaking down the difficult parts of songs into little bits that I can use as exercises, I've also started realizing that I needed to re-learn certain fundamentals that were preventing me from progressing faster - bad habits that my teacher never corrected, like my tendency to 'anchor' (I'm not so bad at this, but I do it every once in a while and I needed to stop and adjust this bad habit). Jamie Andreas's The Principles of Correct Practice is terrific for this type of thing, I highly recommend it.

Hope this helps.
Last edited by pos69sum at Sep 21, 2007,